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  Regardless of the bickering...
  Posted by: old_user on Apr-07-10 2:21 PM (EST)

and he said she said. It sounds like you both are at least competent. Kathy has been in the water a few times and seem confident that she won't get into trouble.

She says she knows how to swim rudimentarily, and she doesn't panic and is a trained disaster responder.

As someone who has swam all their life, I can tell you there is a big difference between rudimentary swimming and advanced swimming and advanced underwater operation.

If you get stuck in a situation that requires advanced water skills, you'll definately need them. I am reminded of a time when I went ocean kayaking the first time (with many years of flat water canoeing experience under my belt). I was kayaking in the mangrove canals north of key largo, and the tide was coming in or going out. I went where the water was pinched to 10ft and so the water was rushing through, there were three pilings in place to keep motorized boats out of this area. Since it was my first kayak experience in swift waters I hadn't realized the kayak could so easily turn and get pinned on the piling. And pinned hard it got flipped sideway... with me in the kayak facing the oncoming water. I had to pull myself out of the kayak, while pinned in the kayak that was pinned to the pilings, brace my feet on the one of the pilings and break the kayak free, which involved dragging it longways until the bow or stern was free. When the kayak broke free I got a nice long and deep gash on my leg from the barnacles, and drifted down the canal with the kayak which was full of water. I had to dump some of the water out of the kayak while I was in the water before I could get back in it.

I couldn't have done any of that, and may not have survived if I wasn't both a very strong swimmer skills-wise, a very strong muscularly. That kayak was pinned hard. I was also very confident in myself in that situation, and my ability to get myself and that kayak off the piling in the rushing water.

Kathy, I feel confident about your abilities, but get swimming lessons and practice hard until you are not only a capable surface swimmer but an advanced swimmer able to do thing in and under the water that other people cannot do. It's a really important set of survival skills to have, especially if you are going to be on the water, and even more especially important if you are going to be in moving water (rivers, oceans, canals, etc.)


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